OTTAWA, Canada – On the situation in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, Marc Garneau, minister of foreign affairs, today issued the following statement:
“Canada has been following the situation in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza with grave concern. We are appalled by the ongoing violence, rising tensions, and loss of life, including children. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and their loved ones.
“Canada urges all parties to take immediate steps to end the violence, de-escalate tensions, protect civilians, and uphold international law. We stand firmly with the Israeli and Palestinian peoples in their right to live in peace, security, with dignity, without fear, and with their human rights respected.
“The indiscriminate barrage of rocket attacks fired by Hamas into populated areas of Israel is absolutely unacceptable and must cease immediately. Canada supports Israel’s right to live in peace with its neighbours within secure boundaries and recognizes Israel’s right to assure its own security.
“Canada is deeply disturbed by the completely unacceptable violence in Jerusalem, including in and around al-Aqsa. These events are especially upsetting during the Holy month of Ramadan. Places of worship are for people to gather for peaceful reflection and should never be sites of violence. It is crucial to respect the sanctity and safety of holy sites. Violence in and around the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount must stop.
“Canada remains gravely concerned by the continued expansion of settlements, and by the demolitions and evictions, including the ongoing cases in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan. These actions impact families and livelihoods and do not serve peace or international law. Unilateral actions that prejudge the outcome of direct negotiations and further jeopardize the prospects for a two-state solution must be avoided.
“Canada is committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel. Canada reiterates its call for the immediate de-escalation of tensions and an end to the violence.
“With Israeli and Palestinian youth and future generations top of our mind, we urge all parties to renew their commitment to peace and security. We will always stand ready to support efforts for a two-state solution.”